First Jimmy Butler, and now Taj Gibson, as the Minnesota Timberwolves are quickly becoming a variation of Tom Thibodeau’s former Chicago Bulls’ team. The revamped Timberwolves are turning into a quiet powerhouse given the moves they have made in the offseason. The Timberwolves may be in position to challenge for the Northwest Division title next season, if Thibodeau gets his way.
Less than two weeks ago, the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled off a stunning trade on the night of the NBA draft. The Timberwolves made a deal with the Bulls to acquire three-time all-star Jimmy Butler, as reported by USA Today. In doing so, the Timberwolves immediately made themselves into a playoff contender. Adding Jimmy Butler was just the first of the Timberwolves’ big moves.
According to the Twin-Cities Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to sign free agent point guard Jeff Teague. Teague, also a former NBA All-Star, will replace Ricky Rubio, whom the Timberwolves dealt to the Utah Jazz for a first round draft pick in the 2018 draft.
Tom Thibodeau felt that the Minnesota Timberwolves needed some toughness and veteran leadership, as evidenced from their moves. The next big move was the free agent acquisition of power forward Taj Gibson.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2017
Gibson and Butler were with Tom Thibodeau while he was coaching the Chicago Bulls. They know how to run his system in and out. What tweaks Thibodeau felt the Minnesota Timberwolves needed will likely come from them.
Butler is obviously going to be the Timberwolves’ starting shooting guard. Whether or not Taj Gibson starts will depend on Minnesota’s needs.
According to ESPN, Taj Gibson will sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves for two years and $28 million. His contract with the Timberwolves is fully guaranteed.
— CSN Chicago (@CSNChicago) July 2, 2017
Taj Gibson began last season with the Chicago Bulls, but was traded at the NBA trade deadline to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was supposed to play a significant role with the Thunder, but had some trouble carving out his niche. Things should be easier for him with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as everything is familiar to him.
With the Taj Gibson signing, the Minnesota Timberwolves are likely done with their offseason moves. There is are some NBA rumors circulating about Paul Millsap and the Timberwolves’ interest, but such a signing would have to be a sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
Consummating a Millsap deal would not be surprising. What the Minnesota Timberwolves would likely do is offer the salary of Gorgui Dieng and draft picks to make things happen.
[Featured Image by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]